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Opponent proponents - Q&A with Canal Street Chronicles

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  Yes, the Rams are still rolling along. And that sad, sad rolling rolls smack into the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. The two are coming off of polar opposite performances.

  St. Louis propelled DeMarco Murray to national fame with more than two football fields worth of rushing last weekend while Drew Brees led the Saints to video game type numbers, beating the Colts 62-7. To get a sense of how brutal the beating might be, I linked up with Dave Cariello from Canal Street Chronicles, the SB Nation community for fans of the New Orleans Saints.

So uh, 62 points. Yeah, I guess that actually happened. The timing's not great for this question, but maybe you can just add the Colts to a season-long perspective. Are there any holes on the Saints' offense and if so, what are they?

The Saints offense is pretty darn good but just because they put up 62 points on a bad team doesn't make them perfect. They don't have any serious holes but I think they could probably get a little better at the offensive tackle position. They also aren't very deep at tight end behind Jimmy Graham. If he goes down, I'm sure a their plan of attack changes quite drastically. But, yes, this offense is incredibly fun to watch and Saints fans are truly lucky to have such a talented group.

The rest of the Q&A after the jump.

To be fair, though, the Saints haven't played the most brutal of schedules, especially after the season opener against Green Bay. Is this team set up for a run like they had in 2009?

Well, I don't know if the results will be the same as 2009 but as you mentioned, the schedule certainly favors the Saints. Other than the game against the Lions, the Saints don't face too many tough challenges. Looking ahead, there are no games that frighten me and no teams the Saints can't beat. In fact, the most difficult games remaining are those against their division opponents, which they'll need to win anyway if they want to have a shot at making the playoffs. It's a bit cliche to say but I think the Saints control their own destiny.

Defensively, the line is pretty weak especially against the run. Are you surprised that an Aubrayo Franklin-Sedrick Ellis combo exists in one of the worst run defense lines in the league?

I am definitely surprised and disappointed by the Saints ability to stop the run considering the talent they have at defensive tackle. Don't forget about DT Shaun Rogers, whom the Saints also signed this off-season. You'd expect a rotation with those three would be stout against the run. The Saints play an aggressive form of defense that sometimes yields big plays when things go wrong. I think those big plays skew their defensive stats a bit. Fortunately, the Saints have an offense that puts up plenty of points, so as long as the defense can keep opponents under 30 points, the team has a good chance of winning the game.

How about the passing defense? How has Cameron Jordan fared? And how about the secondary?

I would love to see the defensive line get more pressure on the quarterback. Cameron Jordan appears to improve with each game but he hasn't done anything to blow me away just yet. On the backend, the Saints secondary has played well, led by Jabari Greer, the teams best cornerback. Super Bowl star Tracy Porter has battle injury all season and used sparingly but sophomore first round draft pick Patrick Robinson has really improved a lot this season. Starting safeties Roman Harper and Malcolm Jenkins have just been mediocre thus far this season.

My family's from the country in W. Baton Rouge, so I've been to Nola about a hundred times. Still, not being from there, I just don't get a sense of how things have developed. Given that Katrina is fading from the national consciousness, what is the general state of New Orleans and what role have the Saints played in the rebuilding effort?

New Orleans is just fine and Katrina is now just a distant memory, thank you for asking. The Saints were certainly a welcome distraction from all the stress associated with rebuilding in the year or two immediately following the storm, but now they are just a football team that we all love. I really and truly believe the city of New Orleans is a better place since the storm. It was certainly a tough time but we're stronger than ever now. And we just got through another uneventful hurricane season this summer, which is always nice.

Thanks again to Dave from CSC for the chance to get these answered.